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On March 11, 2017, videos were uploaded to social media showing police in Vallejo, California brutalizing an individual who may have been experiencing mental health issues. The incident took place Friday, March 10 on Fairgrounds Drive in front of the Valero gas station. The Vallejo police officer captured on video punching and bashing with a flashlight has been identified as Spencer Bottomley, an ex-Marine. Bottomley was named in a strikingly similar brutality case, Derrick Lamoris Shields vs. City of Vallejo, for an incident on the night of April 11, 2016. According to the statement of claims, five Vallejo police officers "violated Plaintiff's rights [...] when they subjected Plaintiff to excessive and/deadly force and assault and battery."
Fri Mar 10 2017 (Updated 03/12/17)
Revolutionary Organizing Against Racism Conference
ROAR, aka the Revolutionary Organizing Against Racism Conference, is a free two-day event, organized by Northern California Anti-Racist Action, that will be held on Ohlone Territory March 11 at OMNI Commons in Oakland and March 12th at California Institute for Integral Studies in San Francisco. Organizers write: During these times more and more attention is being paid to those of us who use direct action and hold liberatory and revolutionary politics. We can use this moment not only to inspire others through our actions, but to also inspire with our ideas.
Keith McHenry writes: The most common government response to the suffering of those being forced into homelessness is the passage of laws against being homeless. Laws against sleeping, sitting, asking for money, living outside, or what officials call “quality of life crimes” make this bad situation even worse, and make the lives of homeless men, women, and children even more miserable. Another aspect of this punitive response to homelessness is passage of laws prohibiting the public sharing of meals with the hungry. The hope is that hiding from public view the problem of homelessness will make it go away.
Thu Mar 2 2017 (Updated 03/06/17)
Anaheim Erupts After Off-Duty Cop Shoots at Students
The city of Anaheim in Southern California erupted in youth protest on February 22 after Kevin Ferguson, an off-duty LAPD police officer detained a 13-year-old male, dragging him by the collar across a yard, and pulling him over hedges in front of the police officer’s home, before pulling out a gun and firing it into a crowd of students. Soon after the shooting happened, a crowd gathered outside of the officer’s home, taking to the streets while riot police were stationed around the home in order to protect the officer who was inside.
Two Bay Area Air Quality Management District employees charge in a new lawsuit that they were bullied, retaliated against, and fired for exposing the illegal destruction of agency documents that are required to be maintained for a record of the violations of air pollution laws by corporations. They say they had tried to stop the destruction of the documents but that the agency's top managers continued to engage in destroying citations, compliance records, and settlement agreements for air pollution control violations by major companies like Chevron, Shell, Tosco, Pacific Steel Casting, and many other companies.
Santa Cruz is a Sanctuary City. Following the DHS/ICE raids in Santa Cruz on February 13, SCPD Chief Kevin Vogel claimed the department cooperated with DHS only because they thought the raids were to target violent gang members, and that DHS lied about their intention to detain non-criminal undocumented individuals. During deliberations to strengthen the status of Santa Cruz as a Sanctuary City at the February 28 Santa Cruz City Council meeting, however, members of the public pressured Vogel to admit that an ICE/DHS agent has not only been working closely with, but even given office space by the Santa Cruz Police Department since 2009, and was involved in the recent raids in some capacity.
A coalition of social justice activists demonstrated with signs, banners, and flyers outside the annual RSA cyber-security conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco on February 14 and 15, educating attendees and the public about how Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) enables and profits from Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, and from racist immigration and incarceration policies in the United States. HPE is a platinum sponsor and participant in the annual RSA Conference. The protests followed last month’s Global Day of Action against HP, with over 150 demonstrations in over 60 countries around the world
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